If you’re thinking about selling your home in the upcoming spring market, there are many things to think about ahead of time. The first to come to mind are…
- Cleanup and spruce up
- Selecting a realtor
- Determining market value
- Picking the best time to list
All these will make your home more visible. But what happens when you scratch the service? Is something hiding in your home that could make or break the sale?
Most people think of an inspection when it comes to purchasing a home. But, you might be surprised to learn that more and more sellers are having their own homes inspected before they sell.
Knowing about property issues allows you to decide whether you want to make repairs or upgrades up front or offer a financial incentive to the buyers. That way, needed repairs won’t jeopardize a potential sale down the road.
What is a home inspection? A home inspection is a visual inspection of the physical structure of your home and it’s systems from the very top (roof) to the very bottom (the foundation).
It should include…
- The heating and cooling system
- The roof
- Insulation and ventilation (if visible)
An inspection is not to be confused with an appraisal. Appraisals determine your home’s market value based on recent sales of similar homes in your area. Inspections make you aware of problems in your home that could reduce its sales value. Those problems could be cosmetic or structural.
Once your inspection is completed, you’ll receive a report on the physical condition of the home. Repairs suggested could range from relatively small (like peeling paint or loose tiles) to major (like heating system upgrades, roof replacement, or insect damage). While that might sound terrible, the advantage is actually yours.
As the homeowner, you’ll know about issues that could affect the sales price, and what steps you can take to help your bottom line.
If you’re lucky, you might have fairly simple issues to resolve. If you can fix them yourself, you can ask for a better purchase price for your home. If the issues are costly, requiring a professional, you can decide whether to pay to have it done yourself, or sell the home as-is at a reduced selling price (meaning that known issues will be the responsibility of the buyer). Either way, knowing the structural issues up front can help prevent delays in the sale.
A word of caution: If you find problems but elect not to repair them, be sure to tell your realtor! You realtor will want to disclose this information to all potential buyers. In some states, you can be liable for damages if you, or your realtor, knew about problems but didn’t disclosed them to the buyer.
A home inspection isn’t free, but it will more than pay for itself when it helps you achieve a successful sale.